The Killings Fields Is A Chilling Film About The Cambodian Genocide And The Khmer Rouge

The Killings Fields Is A Chilling Film About The Cambodian Genocide And The Khmer Rouge

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The Killings Fields is a chilling film about the Cambodian genocide and the regime of the Khmer Rouge. Released in 1984, five years after the end of Pol Pot’s reign, the film tries to capture the chaos, devastation, and unrelenting violence that occurred in Cambodia a country that was thrown into conflict by the reverberations of the Vietnam War. Throughout the film, thoughts of fear and violence flood the viewer through scenes of bombings and guerrilla warfare to the dangerous score that plays behind Pran’s time in the labor camp. The Killing Fields uses understated depictions of violence to show the viewer how it affected the Cambodians and to explain how genocides occur as a whole.
Within the first ten minutes of The Killing Fields, there is a bombing in the neighboring town of Neak Leung. New York Times journalist Sydney Schanberg and his assistant Dith Pran sneak into the city on a police boat after they hear that an American B-52 is responsible. The film shows some scenes of bloodied bodies and overturned sidewalks, but it also focuses on the citizens and their reactions. Many woman and children run up to Schanberg and ask him to help them, because their husbands have perished, or their child is wounded, or their business is destroyed. This shows how the violence of the Vietnam War affected the Cambodian people. Even more importantly, the moments of Schanberg and Pran walking through the wreckage shows the violence between the Cambodian forces and the guerrilla rebels of the Khmer Rouge. It’s later revealed that the bombing of Neak Leung was accidental, originally meant for Vietnam, however, the fighting between the government soldiers and the Khmer Rouge forces are not. Schanberg and Pran almost witness an execution of ...

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...between the United States and Vietnam. In the beginning of the movie, a bomb hits a town that is intended for Cambodia’s neighbor. This accidental violence throws the people of Cambodia into chaos and fear, which leads to a civil war. The war between the communist Khmer Rouge and the Cambodian government continues until the Khmer Rouge Soldiers finally take the Capital, Phnom Penh. The last, which is not particularly violent but is shown in the movie, is the decolonization. French is spoken between Schanberg and Cambodians. While the Khmer Rouge storm the Capital City, all of the foreigners hide out in the French Embassy. For a time, Schanberg and his friends have access to beer, electricity, and safe lodgings while the city is under siege. Most Importantly, they are able to flee Cambodia when it becomes too dangerous, when Pran can only surrender to the Khmer Rouge.

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